Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic wins Trib HSSN Cup for Class 3A
Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls. The old bell once located on Troy Hill and now residing in Cranberry tolls for Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic after the Trojans garnered the points to win the 2017-18 Trib HSSN Sports Cup in Class 3A.
Twelve points is what separated the top two schools in the Class 3A cup chase as CWNC edged Shady Side Academy, 222-210, in the second closest chase for that classification’s title.
The TribLive High School Sports Network Cup is a yearlong competition to determine the top WPIAL sports program in each classification. It awards points for section/conference wins, district/state playoff wins and district/state championships and runners-up.
Schools can earn 1 point for section/conference wins, 2 points for any postseason victory, 10 points for a WPIAL championship, 5 points for district runner-up, 20 points for a PIAA championship and 15 points for state runner-up.
CWNC teams have a tradition that dates back to the 1940’s and 50’s that whenever a Trojans team wins a WPIAL or PIAA championship, they ring the victory bell. That tradition continued when the old bell made the move from North Catholic High School on the north side Pittsburgh to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in Butler County four years ago.
In this competition, the old bell was nearly silenced.
With a strong spring in boys tennis and girls lacrosse, it looked like Shady Side Academy had a chance for the comeback triumph, however a WPIAL championship run in baseball by Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic sealed the deal.
“We are truly honored to receive this award,” Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic athletic director Mike Burrell said. “We have had a great athletic tradition at North Catholic … from the successful days on Troy Hill to keeping the momentum going on our Cranberry campus. We have great kids and families, who are really committed to the mission of our school.”
Besides the baseball championship, CWNC also won the WPIAL girls basketball crown and captured district gold in boys soccer. The team nearly pulled off double titles but lost to Camp Hill in the PIAA Class A soccer finals.
While the athletes are the focus, Burrell said the coaches should receive some credit.
“Most importantly, we have outstanding coaches. I think people take for granted and don’t realize how much a high school coach does for kids,” he said. “High school coaches deal with so much more than just the X’s and O’s of their sport. We are truly blessed with having some of the best high school coaches in the area, and for that, they make our programs as successful and special as they are.”
Burrell shared a common statement among many administrators, coaches and athletes throughout Western Pennsylvania for when that school bell rings to start a new year.
“(The year) 2017-18 was a great athletic year for us and we are looking forward to the 2018-19 campaign,” he said.
Here are the Top 10 finishers in Class 3A for the Trib HSSN Sports Cup:
1. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic — 222 points
2. Shady Side Academy — 210
3. Seton LaSalle — 140
4. Avonworth — 126
5. Waynesburg — 115
6. Mohawk — 102
7. South Side Beaver — 101
8. Burrell — 98
9. Riverside — 84
10. Brownsville — 82
Don Rebel is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at [email protected].